eXtension Board of Directors National Update

This past year has been full of new and exciting changes as we continue on our transition to the NEW eXtension to better serve the Cooperative Extension System. Here is the latest update provided by eXtension Foundation’s Board of Directors:

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To: Cooperative Extension Directors and Administrators
From: eXtension Foundation Board of Directors
Date: September 21, 2016
Subject: eXtension National Update

It is our pleasure to share with you an update and exciting news about eXtension. Our CEO, Dr. Chris Geith and her team have accomplished a lot over the last twelve months in responding to our member needs by identifying new technologies and creating new services that will help us increase our impact—like the i-Three Issue Corps and Innovation Lab.

During this period, the board worked closely with eXtension staff to incorporate a reconfigured framework that includes a new budget, implementation of the strategic plan and realignment of all resources in an operating model that will truly complete transition to the NEW eXtension. This was accomplished by establishing a new focus that first asks questions such as: “how do we add value to the national system?”; “where are there opportunities to enhance our member benefits?” and “how do we make a difference at the local, state and national levels?” These objectives are being achieved through an engaged board of directors, dedicated and committed staff and a vision to make a difference.

On the business side, we updated Articles of Incorporation and Bylaws, created a new financial system, transferred remaining fund balances from the University of Nebraska and Association of Public and Land Grant Universities and approved policies that address: Code of Ethics, Protection for Whistleblowers, Executive Compensation, Financial Controls, Conflicts of Interest and Disclosure Statements. All this work and effort was needed to ensure a strong foundation for future growth and success.

Additionally, as part of the continued transition to a new framework we focused on a new staffing model that resulted in the hiring of a Chief Financial Officer (Peter Aamodt, .5 FTE) and Chief Operations Officer (Beverly Coberly, .5 FTE) to join Chris Geith, CEO, and complete our senior administrative team. The new organizational structure will allow us to concentrate our efforts and resources in support of our NEW Purpose (eXtension helps Cooperative Extension professionals make a visible and measureable impact on local issues) and NEW Solutions Model (Issue Response, Innovation Lab, National Presence).

Emphasis areas for 2017 include:

  1. Strengthening the work on climate and food systems issues teams from current i- Three Corps members and expansion of technology and innovation to achieve greater impacts;
  2. New professional development opportunities for your faculty and staff;
  3. Expanding partnerships and financial support in identified growth areas; and
  4. An even better web site at extension.org with more information on how to be
    engaged, professional development opportunities, innovation team information, membership updates and program resources.

Almost two years ago we embarked on a journey to reinvent eXtension, but more importantly, determine how eXtension adds value to a national system. We are not only pleased with our progress, but thanks to your continued support, we are excited about the future!

Your eXtension Foundation Board of Directors
Dennis Calvin, Pennsylvania State University, Chair
Jane Clary Loveless, ex-officio, non-voting, USDA-NIFA
Jason Henderson, Purdue University
Vernon Jones, Langston University, Vice Chair/Treasurer
Fred Schlutt, University of Alaska, Secretary
Jane Schuchardt, ex-officio, non-voting, ECOP
Doug Steele, Texas A&M University